The East India Company's administration of India had been brought under the control of the British government by 1784, and its economic policies were determined by the needs of the British economy. The Company initially delegated the administration of its Indian holdings to Indians, limiting its activities to supervision. However, it soon became clear that traditional administrative methods were insufficient to meet British objectives. As a result, the Company took control of some aspects of administration. The administration at the top was overhauled under Warren Hastings and Cornwallis, and the foundations of a new system based on the English model were laid.
• In the nineteenth century, the spread of British power to new areas, new problems, new needs, new experiences, and new ideas led to more fundamental changes in the administrative system. However, imperialism's overall goals were never forgotten.
• The Civil Service, the Army, and the Police were the three pillars of British administration in India. This was due to two factors.
1. For one thing, the primary goal of British Indian administration was to maintain law and order while also ensuring the continuation of British rule. British merchants and manufacturers could not hope to sell their wares in every corner of India if there was no law and order.
2. Again, as foreigners, the British could not hope to win the Indian people's affections; as a result, they relied on superior force rather than public support to maintain their control over India.
• The army was the British regime's second most important pillar in India. It performed four critical functions. It was the instrument of conquest for the Indian powers; it defended the British Empire in India from foreign rivals; it protected British supremacy from the ever-present threat of internal revolt; and it was the primary tool for extending and defending the British Empire in Asia and Africa.
• The majority of the Company's army was made up of Indian soldiers, mostly from the present-day states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
• For example, the army in India in 1857 numbered 311,400 men, with 265,900 of them being Indians. Its officers, on the other hand, were all British, at least since Cornwallis' time.
• Only three Indians in the army were paid Rs 300 a month in 1856, and the highest Indian officer was a subedar. Because British troops were far too expensive, a large number of Indian troops had to be used. Furthermore, Britain's population was likely too small to provide the large army required for the conquest of India.
• The army was run entirely by British officials as a counterweight, and a contingent of British troops was kept on hand to keep the Indian soldiers under control.
• Even so, the fact that a handful of foreigners could conquer and control India with a predominantly Indian army appears surprising today. This was made possible by two factors.
• On the one hand, modern nationalism was not present in the country at the time. A soldier from Bihar or Awadh did not believe, and could not have believed, that assisting the Company in defeating the Marathas or Punjabis was anti-Indian.
• The Indian soldier, on the other hand, had a long history of salt loyalty. To put it another way, the Indian soldier was a good mercenary, and the Company was a good boss. It paid its soldiers on time and in good condition, something that Indian rulers and chieftains had stopped doing.
• The third pillar of British rule was the police force, which was founded by Cornwallis once more. He delegated police functions to the zamindars and established a regular police force to maintain law and order. In this regard, he returned to the old Indian system of thanas and modernised it. This put India ahead of the United Kingdom, which had yet to develop a police force. Cornwallis established a system of circles, or thanas, led by an Indian daroga.
• Later, the position of District Superintendent of Police was created to lead a district's police force. Indians were once again barred from all higher-ranking positions.
• Village-watchmen, who were paid by the villagers, continued to perform the duties of the police in the villages. Major crimes such as dacoits were gradually reduced by the police. The police also prevented the formation of a large-scale conspiracy against foreign control, and they were used to suppress the national movement when it arose.
• The Indian police adopted an unsympathetic attitude toward the people in their dealings with them. The police committed “depredations on the peaceable inhabitants, of the same nature as those practised by the dacoits whom they were employed to suppress,” according to a report by a Parliamentary Committee in 1813.